The Glass Menagerie
"Choose a play in which a central character behaves in an obsessive manner. Describe the nature of the character's obsessive behaviour and discuss the influence this behaviour has on your understanding of the character in the play as a whole."
"The Glass Menagerie" is a play written by Tennessee Williams. The play is semi-autobiographical, told from the point of view of the writer. It is a memory play set in the home the Wingfield family. The play is about a young man, Tom, who lives with his mother, Amanda and his sister, Laura. The play explores the various struggles of each individual during the great depression. The characters all have their flaws and motives which help us to understand them and sympathise or agree with them. All the characters in the play behave in some sort of obsessive manner; however, Amanda behaves most strongly this way.
Amanda Wingfield is one of the main characters and plays a great role in the readers understanding of the play as a whole. She behaves in a very obsessive manner throughout the play and this creates conflict between the other characters. In Scene one, we are introduced to Amanda's obsessive and controlling behaviour. As Tom eats at the dinner table, Amanda continuously pesters him, telling him how to eat his food. "Don't push with your fingers. If you have to push something, the thing to push with is the crust of bread…So chew your food and give your salivary glands a chance to function!" Amanda treats Tom like a child which frustrates him. He is very short tempered and easily irritated by Amanda's over controlling and obsessive personality. She also obsesses over Toms bad habits, proclaiming that; "you smoke too much." Amanda is constantly complaining about Tom and criticising him, this is due to her infatuation and constant desire for perfection in all aspects of her life. She is like this as she cares for them but does not realise that she is smothering her...
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